Interview: Kerry Godliman On The New Series Of Taskmaster

Why did you sign up to Taskmaster?

Oh, man! It’s such a great programme. It was such a delight to be asked! You just get to play, don’t you? I tried to explain it to one of my in-laws and she just looked at me like I was having a breakdown. I mean, it’s very hard to explain it. It’s like playing games in rooms with time restraints. They’re like mini workshops. You’ve got to want to win and yet have no regard for winning in almost equal measure. I mean, that is a real challenge! Because sometimes you think, “I actually really want to win this.” Because I can be very competitive, which I think helps, but then you’ve got to completely throw that away because Greg’s whims are completely unpredictable.

What was your strategy?

I didn’t have one. My strategy was how to eat an elephant, one bite at a time. So, I just tried to commit to that moment in each one. I didn’t have a grand plan. I think people who do are freaks.

Is it more important to be funny or to win a task?

For me personally I could see there were choices about whether to be funny or just focus, and my decision was to just do the tasks, and hope to be funny en route. I just felt like, for me, I could be potentially a bit more engaging and funny whilst being on task. And if I went down the road of, “Hey, I’m going to subvert this and see what comes out,” it would be contrived and awful. So that wouldn’t have worked for me, because that’s not my comedy style. My stand-up persona is very, “I don’t know what you’re laughing at because this is pissing me off.” So I did it real.

Did you know the other contestants?

I knew everyone except Jess. And then I got to work with her and we got on very well so it didn’t take long for me to feel like I’d known her just as long anyway.

It sounds like Greg might be getting a bit tougher.

I don't know, he seems consistently tough to me! What’s funny is the sweetness, or the tenderness he shows sometimes. He’s awarded points for things like, “Oh, I’m genuinely moved by that,” or if the word “surprising” is in the task, he’ll go, “I am genuinely surprised by that.” Most of us expect him to be cross, but it’s really nice winning his favour with the tender side, you know? So that’s been fun.

What has been your most successful task?

The task I was the most excited about, I really lucked out because of the weather and I really smashed it, and I was over the moon. I don’t think I’m going to feel as happy as that for the rest of my life. It tops my wedding day. It tops the birth of my children. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. It was a truly beautiful moment.

What has been the greatest gift that somebody has brought in at the beginning of a round?

There is one Rhod’s put in which was genuinely mental. Like, Rhod has taken things to new levels, I think. He did something absolutely crazy. I mean, I’m cross because Rhod has got an advantage because of his friendship with Greg. So he’s got access to the Taskmaster that we do not have. Like, his house.

Was it legal?

I mean, I don't know if Greg wants to press charges. I would. It was so mad. He stayed up all night to do it.

He’s taking this really seriously then?

Well, yes, but on other rounds, Rhod will just blow it out of his arse and phone it in. There was one where we tried really hard and Rhod just threw in a line and then walked out. He’s a real blow it or smash it guy. Which is really annoying, because he’s a rogue element – you don’t know where he’s coming from. You don’t know what he’s going to bring. But he has got this friendship thing with Greg that, again, sometimes works in his favour, and then disadvantage. They’ve got a long, old, slightly grating friendship, so I can see that Greg loves him and loathes him with equal measure.

How helpful was Alex Horne in your tasks?

Not remotely. He isn’t remotely helpful. If you ask him a question he says, “Read the task again.” I mean, he’ll get things for you. And did let me sit on his shoulders for one so that was helpful. And he played a part in mine and Jessica’s soap opera. We cast him as a shocked lover and he was brilliant. But that’s rare. Generally, he’s no use at all.

Would you recommend the experience to other comedians?

Oh, my God, yes! I’ve had a wonderful time. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to do it. It’s a joy.

Taskmaster Series Seven, Wednesdays from 5th September at 9pm on Dave.

James Acaster on Taskmaster

Rhod Gilbert talks about his Taskmaster debut here.

Alex Horne on Taskmaster Series Seven.

Greg Davies on Taskmaster.

Interview supplied by UKTV


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